Loree Bohl’s Danger Garden: Portland Garden Bloggers Fling

One of the most anticipated gardens on the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, Oregon, recently was Danger Garden, the plant-lustful playground of one of our hosts, Loree of Danger Garden blog fame.

With an adoration for spiny, spiky, and bold-foliage plants and an artistic eye for design and for container styling, not to mention the discipline to hew to a restricted but high-impact color palette of orange, lime green, black, and silver, Loree’s garden is a visual treat, with jewel-box vignettes at every turn.

Of course on this occasion there were forty jewelers with loupes inspecting and admiring each and every facet. Half our group at a time descended on Loree’s small garden, making for an elbow-jostling viewing experience. At least one blogger accidentally met an agave, spine to leg, proving that Danger Garden is well named.

And she was a total sport about it because the thrill of danger is, well, thrilling.

This was my second time to see Loree’s stunning garden.

I last visited Danger Garden three years ago, just before the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling, to which we drove together from Loree’s house.

On that visit, the garden was all mine to photograph (rubs hands together greedily).

This time it was more of a party!

I enjoyed seeing how the garden has evolved…

…and grown since my last visit.

Some areas, like her orange shade pavilion, are as I remember them.

Others are new since then, like this container garden, stock-tank pond, and fence where a hedge once stood.

Decorative elements, like this dish planter on a pedestal (one of a trio), have also been added (click the link for Loree’s how-to).

Loree’s front garden, a sloping former lawn that she’s converted into a drought-tolerant gravel garden, was newly planted when I visited three years ago. Since then it has filled in beautifully and was aglow with afternoon light when we visited.

Giving the plants a run for their money in terms of camera attention, however, was Lila, aka Pony, companionably relaxing in the arms of Andrew, Loree’s husband and garden assistant and all-around nice guy.

And here’s the whole charming family. Thank you, Loree, for sharing your garden with the Flingers and for co-hosting a truly excellent Portland Fling!

Up next: The bold, orange-crush, whimsical garden of JJ De Sousa. For a look back at serene, green Portland Japanese Garden, click here.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

38 Responses

  1. Indie says:

    I’m not much one for spiky plants in the garden (I’m far too clumsy for that), but some of this landscaping is so impressive with all the texture going on! How fun! I love all the bright colors – it just makes everything pop.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Loree has a flair for color and arrangement. I like how she sets pots of spiky plants in the midst of her garden beds, which is something anyone, even non-spiky lovers, can do to introduce strong texture and form without worrying so much about getting poked. —Pam

  2. Mark and Gaz says:

    You are right there Pam, it is one of the most anticipated gardens to visit on the itinerary. She has a fabulous garden and we were so excited to finally see it in the flesh and what a thrill it was we finally got there! The atmosphere during the fling visit was like a party in a dangerous situation, but we were also lucky enough to enjoy it later on with far less people. Love the photo of the Danger Garden family :)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I’m glad you were able to see it at a quieter time too, M&G. It’s such an intimate garden that you need time and space to explore it fully. But yes, what a Danger party during the Fling! —Pam

  3. Helen says:

    This was the one garden I was disappointed not to get to see, thanks for the share.

  4. Dee Nash says:

    Very cool garden of one very cool woman.

  5. Katherine says:

    Fun to get to see her garden through your lens- I enjoy reading her blog. Always neat to see different perspectives! Thanks!

  6. Ah Pam…just like in 2011 you have a knack for making my garden look so good, thank you! I especially appreciate the first photo. I intended to take a few images while the garden was full but of course got distracted talking with everyone and completely forgot to. You’re welcome back anytime…

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I hope to take you up on the invitation to return one day, Loree, thank you. I love Portland and would love to come back in October one year. That’s pre-cold-and-wet, isn’t it? —Pam

  7. Denise says:

    So grateful for your amazing tours of the Fling gardens, and of course Loree’s garden is special to us on so many levels, as was Scott’s. What a grand time it was!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Yes, it was, and yes, they are! And I was so glad to see you again too, Denise, although I feel I didn’t get to spend enough time with you. We were always out stalking our next photo, weren’t we? —Pam

  8. Great photos and fun description! I was feeling hot and sat this one out as you can see in one of the photos. I love the way Loree put her collections of pots together. And the various exotic and unusual plants are so amazing. Been trying to explain it to Shawn…this is perfect!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      It sure was hot that day — so weird! Everyone thinks we Texans love the heat or are at least adapted to it, but nothing could be farther from the truth, right? We stay inside in the A/C in the summer, like sensible people. Ha! —Pam

  9. ricki says:

    You’ve managed to capture Loree’s sense of style, which is really something.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a spikey garden. Beautiful. I love all the texture. It looks like something one would see in Austin.

  11. Kris P says:

    Thank you for showing Loree’s garden in all its spikey glory!

  12. Astra says:

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who must own all the agaves!

  13. David says:

    Thanks so much for showing Loree’s garden an all the nice agaves and such in their potted homes. She has impeccable style and excellent taste in matching plants with creative & colorful pottery. I didn’t know she had self-imposed limits regarding a color palette. Nice treat to see her garden from a different perspective.

  14. kate says:

    Wonderful write-up of a favorite garden. You also really captured the three of them beautifully in that photogenic family image. Fab!

  15. The combinations are so eclectic, how could I not enjoy them? Plus, I see many of my local favorites mixed with plants I don’t have a prayer at growing…though Loree probably proved such silly talk wrong more than once!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      For determined or experimental souls, listening to “that won’t grow here” is essential. I think Loree certainly falls into that category. For myself, I’m much too lazy for that and want the tried-and-true, with a few zone-pushing plants I’m willing to baby through winter. I suspect you’re much the same (sans the lazy part), right, David? —Pam

  16. Oh how everyone must have LOVED the danger garden! I am so thankful to see another one of your tours. Everything looks incredible, and her little family picture you took is a framer for sure!!!

  17. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s always a joy to see the garden of a friend and to see so many people admiring it the way I do was a delight. The family portrait is adorable! Such nice folks, such a spectacular garden!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Seeing a garden one has followed online for a long time is a special treat. I’m so glad Danger Garden was on the tour, aren’t you? —Pam

  18. Lisa C. D. says:

    One of my all time favourite gardens!! beautiful pictures! I remember really enjoying your previous tour from years ago.